An American Beauty is coming to the small screen.
Weeks after revealing its plans to debut the Sarah Chalke comedy Really during its upcoming third pilot season, Amazon has announced another pilot: Hysteria, an hourlong dramatic thriller from singer-turned-TV-multihyphenate Shaun Cassidy starring Mena Suvari.
According to Amazon’s official description, “Hysteria takes viewers to Austin where members of a girls’ competitive dance team are stricken with a strange, psycho-physiological illness that manifests in violent fits and spasms. Neurologist Logan Harlen (Suvari) is called back to her hometown to investigate the cause. Fighting her own demons (and the growing manipulation of a brother on death row), Logan develops an uneasy suspicion that the hysteria surrounding the girls might actually be linked to social media and her own tragic past.”
Though it’s not mentioned in the release, the story seems inspired by a twitching epidemic that affected a group of teenage girls in Le Roy, New York, in 2012—an incident that also served as the basis for Megan Abbott’s recent novel The Fever.
The pilot will be directed by BAFTA winner Otto Bathurst, late of the U.K. series Peaky Blinders. It will also star James McDaniel (NYPD Blue), Josh Stewart (Criminal Minds), Adan Canto (Mixology), Laura San Giacomo (Saving Grace), and T.R. Knight (Grey’s Anatomy). Just like the rest of Amazon’s productions, Hysteria will debut on Prime Instant Video later this year; customer feedback will determine which pilots are picked up and developed into full series.